Built in 1843, the Cape Bonavista Lighthouse is one of the few in the world where you can still climb up the stone tower and see the same seal oil fueled catoptric light apparatus that was used in the 1800s. Experience a light keeper’s day in 1870 – a 24/7 job of polishing glass, filling oil lamps, recording weather patterns, and watching the waves from one of the most rugged points in Newfoundland.
The Cape Bonavista Lighthouse is a great destination to watch for whales, icebergs, and puffins in summer.
505 Cape Shore Road
Bonavista, NL A0C 1B0
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“Bonavista Lighthouse is one of the first Canadian historic sites I visited when I came to Canada three years ago. I took this photo when I went to Bonavista in 2019, with my best friend Robert Tilly, a 73-old true Newfoundlander. Robert’s ancestors began to settle in the Bonavista area around 200 years ago.”
– Ting ting Chen, St. John’s, NL
“In travelling to Newfoundland and Labrador and visiting the Cape Bonavista Lighthouse in 2013, I experienced the trip of a lifetime. From Victoria, BC, I travelled to the other far reach of Canada: from Bonavista to Vancouver Island’ (in reverse)….as expressed in the song “This Land Is Your Land”. The history of the lightkeepers, safeguarding the coast while living in remote locations and enduring challenging weather conditions, is truly inspiring. Visiting other iconic and scenic locations, including the city of St. John’s, Cape Spear and Signal Hill, rounded out the trip.”
– Brian Brannagan, Victoria, BC
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The Town of Bonavista
Located near Cape Bonavista at the end of a long peninsula on Newfoundland’s northeast coast, the Town of Bonavista (population 3,589) is one of North America’s oldest communities. It is said to be named after the first words Venetian explorer John Cabot exclaimed as he came across the cape in 1497: “O Buon Vista!”
The town of Bonavista won the Prince of Wales Prize in 2014. Find out more here.